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Idrah'ū l-hudūd bi-l-shubuhāt: When Lawful Violence Meets Doubt

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This article explores the origin and diffusion of the legal saying, which stated that God's sanctions were not to be applied in cases where there was room for doubt (idra'ū l-hudūd bi-l-shubuhāt), and how it was transformed into a Prophetic saying that was employed mainly by Hanafis and Mālikīs, and rejected by the Hanbalīs and the Zāhirī Ibn Hazm. Behind these developments there is the tension between two equally compelling needs in the early Islamic period: on the one hand, the desire to avoid as much as possible imposition of the severe hadd penalties; on the other hand, the fact that such avoidance usually played in favour of the rich and the powerful.

Affiliations: 1: Instituto de Filología, CSIC, Madrid


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